Poster

Donald's Better Self

A Donald Duck Cartoon

Release Date : March 11, 1938

Running Time : 8:25

Synopsis

Donald's good side gets him out out bed and ready for school, while his bad side tempts him to go off fishing.

Characters

Donald Duck
Donald's Angel
Donald's Devil

Credits

Director
Jack King
Animation
Don Towsley
Paul Allen
Berny Wolf
Jack Hannah
Charles Couch
Layout
Jim Carmichael
Charles Payzant
Story
Tom Armstrong
Harry Reeves
Carl Barks
Music
Oliver Wallace

Video

United States
The Importance of Being Donald
France
Donald Vedette de Television
Italy
La Storia de Paperino

Laserdiscs

United States
Mickey Knows Best / The Importance of Being Donald
Japan
This is Your Life Donald Duck

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Germany
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Italy
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 3 : The Chronological Donald Volume 1

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 14: Early Donald
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 71

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Comments

From Ryan Wilson : This short was okay. It makes you just think of how awful it is getting up in the morning to go to school, work, etc. I know I hated to get up in the morning back when I was going to school.
From Jerry Edwards : For me, the short is too busy trying to get its moral across that it forgets to entertain - all the preaching gets old fast for me.
From Ryan : Although there was a big moral in this story, which was "stay in school," I liked it. It was so realistic because who the heck wants to get up early in the morning to go to school. I have to be at school by 8:00 A.M.(only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) and God is that awful? Also, quite a bit of the animation in this short was reused in the propaganda film, Donald's Decision.
From Candy : I noticed that the other people commenting on this cartoon mentioned that it was too preachy. Well, I guess it is. But I always liked it because of the Angel-vs.-Devil theme. Most of the time, the personal angels and devils of cartoon characters were portrayed as small, sitting on the shoulder of the character. But they were big and life-size in this cartoon. It's interesting that Donald was depicted as a kid in this cartoon, not as an adult. Not too many years after this the roles would be reversed, and Donald would show up as a truant officer and would arrest his nephews for playing hooky. In Donald's Better Self, there is a scene where his personal Devil gets him to smoke a corncob pipe and he gets sick from it. This always reminded me of a scenario from a Tom Sawyer film. There was a similar scenario in Disney's Pinocchio. I liked the fight between Don's Angel and Devil. I've noticed that these Devil characters always have a gangster accent and that the Angel characters are always portrayed as effeminate; what would be called "sissy" back then. All of the personal Angels of the cartoon characters were portrayed this way. This Angel-vs.-Devil theme was also repeated in a great Pluto cartoon, Lend a Paw, and in a Figaro cartoon, Figaro and Frankie.
From Baruch Weiss : As Jerry Edwards has pointed out this short is too busy getting it's moral across. Nothing interesting for me.
From Jenny Tablina : I saw this short for the first time on "Chronological Donald" and wondered why I had never seen it before. Is this one of the cartoons Disney is less willing to show due to amount of smoking in it and so on or just maybe UK censorship? In any case I found it somewhat interesting as an early Donald short. I'm glad they made him adult again for his next solo cartoon though.

Referenced Comments